With the rise of the #metoo movement, it has become painfully apparent that millions of women have been affected by sexual abuse or trauma, at least to some degree. I am one of those women. I feel compelled to share my story in hopes that it will encourage other women to take their lives back and help them remember that even in the darkest of situations, there is always light and hope.


Fortune in unfortunate circumstances.

I was 7 years old when my best friend’s dad, a trusted fatherly figure for me at the time, lured me into his workshop with the promise of showing me something really cool and interesting. Instead, he raped me. I remember walking out of the workshop in a daze, but everything after that was a blur. The next memory I have was at my own home a few days later. I was scheduled to have a playdate with my best friend, but I locked myself in my bathroom, frantically crying and begging my mom to cancel. I had no idea why I didn’t want to go; I just knew I was upset.

Fortunately for me, my psyche repressed the explicit memories and left only faint flashbacks—just enough to keep me safe from future transgressions, but not enough to overwhelm my fragile and infantile coping mechanisms. When I reached my 20s, the memories of sexual trauma came flooding back, first in the form of dreams. Then I began having lucid memories where it felt like I was there, in the flesh, experiencing the trauma for the first time. The last stage of recollection was similar to a state of hallucination, whereby my boyfriend at the time became my perpetrator while we were having sex. It was then that I realized it was time to take action.

Seeking treatment.

My therapy was both extensive and intensive. I employed a broad range of treatments including hypnotherapy, acupuncture, cranial sacral therapy, EMDR, recovered memory therapy (RMT), psychotherapy, mindfulness, meditation, forgiveness counselling, life coaching, and group therapy. By the time I reached my 30s, I felt I had exhaustively analyzed this life experience. No scar was left untouched. I can’t say I ever truly encountered a pivotal moment when I felt as if the trauma had left my whole being.

Fast-forward five years: I found myself amid what I can only define as a spiritual crisis. I yearned not only to understand but to know, unequivocally, the deeper meaning of life. While I had casually ruminated on the idea of a “life’s purpose,” I was never overtaken by such an urgent calling as I was at that time. At the time, I owned a successful business doing what I loved, had a great group of family and friends, was enjoying single life, travelled, often, and overall I was healthy and happy. In hindsight, however, there was a feeling that something was missing despite having all the life essentials. I felt stuck. I was reliving dilemmas over and over again, and I couldn’t quite surpass patterns and paradigms. It was like I was on a treadmill, destination nowhere.


Healing from the inside out.

For the first time in my life, I found myself on my knees, praying to a higher power to bring me to the person, place, or thing that could end my futile quest. A few weeks later, I was in Argentina attending a tantra massage course under the direction of Somananda Tantra School. Skeptical as to how this course would provide clarity and a pathway forward, I arrived cautious yet optimistic.

But on this retreat, I had an epiphany regarding my sexual trauma. What I discovered was that this incident left an energetic scar and imprint on my aura and physical tissues, which are rarely healed by traditional therapies and therefore linger long after the emotional and mental aspects have been addressed in counselling. This explained why I was able to openly speak about my incident with no outward projection of an unhealed inner manifestation. Psychologically, I had unearthed the negative seed—but the energetic embryo was still very much alive and governing my life.


What is tantra massage?

Tantra massage is a revolutionary form of hands-on bodywork that has been developed by modern tantrics in the last few decades to remedy widespread problems that accompany a conventional lifestyle. The beneficial aspects are many; however, it is most renowned as a profound instrument of healing and famed for its ability to remove sexual and energetic blockages. By doing so, a person can experience a remodelling of their entire being and be awakened to an upgraded level of health and wellness, an ability to love more deeply, an increase in pleasure and orgasmic potential as well as a spiritual realization.

This sacred practice is not just an average form or branch of massage. It is indeed unique because it incorporates the tantric essence of shakti, or energy. When skillfully incorporating this universal force into a massage, the healing potential exponentially increases and the results or effects multiply. It can touch the deepest layers and aspects of a human being. This is important due to the fact that many of the problems that modern people face—emotional disturbances, mental troubles, sexual dysfunctions, and health ailments—are attributed to blockages and imprints embedded at an imperceivable level.


Our sexual energy can be a healing energy.

What the ancient tantrics discovered is that energy is the building block of our universe, and there are several types. One type is super potent—like the uranium in a nuclear reactor—and that is our sexual energy. Most people aren’t aware of how to take their sexual energy beyond their genitals, and it is therefore used only for rudimentary purposes. Tantra massage is a means for not only cleansing and opening vital gateways so there is an open channel for the energy to flow through, but it also teaches the energy to start flowing upward. In this process, a skilled practitioner executing the massage can unlock the extraordinary healing benefits of a person’s sexual energy. In essence, by using their own energy in a deliberate way, a therapist can arouse the energy of another person and teach it how to behave in a specific way to achieve a specific purpose.


Healing from the inside out.

Everyone has blockages. They can be physical, emotional, mental, sexual, or psychosomatic in nature, and the root cause can vary from person to person. They can come from everyday repetitive habits and experiences or from a painful memory or event that gets compounded over the years.

In my case, my blockages were a result of my early trauma and many sexual experiences that followed as a consequence. Through the practice of tantra massage, I was freed from the clutches of the past when the imprint was harmoniously released in a systematic way. It was replaced by an unimaginable mental ease, a renewed hope for a bright future, and a place and a space for my true self to emerge. Today the memory of my sexual trauma is still very much with me. However, it is one I can broach with detachment and compassion. It is simply a single slide in my photo reel of life, but it no longer dictates my reality.


Tiffany Tanner